My Weekend at the World Humanist Congress, Oxford, UK - Cathy Dunphy

My Weekend at the World Humanist Congress, Oxford, UK

The World Humanist Congress 2014 brought together humanists from across the world to discuss freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. The conference was held at the University of Oxford, whose motto “Veritas Liberabit, Bonitas Regnabit”  (the truth will set you free, goodness will reign), could have been a secondary theme to the event.

Delegates and speakers came from every corner of the planet, with a common goal of strengthening thinking, reason, and respecting freedom of thought and expression.  Much was said regarding the various threats that exist in our world that we must be aware of in order to combat a back sliding of universal human rights.   When I was a chaplain student working in social justice causes, I could not have stated these valuesmore clearly, more precisely, or more sincerely then was expressed last
weekend in Oxford.

There were speakers such as Gualai Ismail (@Gualai_Ismail) founder of Aware Girls, author
Taslima Nasreen (@taslimanasreen), Bangladeshi blogger, Asif Mohiuddin (@IAMAsifM) and so many more.  They all exhibited their individual strengths, while consistently echoing the values and goals of humanism.

It was truly a privilege to speak at this Congress.  I also had an opportunity to connect with Richard Dawkins about his role in helping to found the Clergy Project, and to thank him publicly for his efforts, articulating just how large of an impact his efforts have had on my life and other members of the Project.
I must thank Andrew Copson, the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association for the tremendous job of operating this Congress, Sonja Eggericks, President of the IHEU for her leadership of the International Humanist and Ethical Union which represents the values of humanism on
the world stage, and the tremendous humanists with whom I gratefully shared this weekend.
Catherine Dunphy is the Associate Humanist Chaplain, at the University of Toronto, a  founding member of the Clergy Project, and its former acting Executive  Director.  She was trained as a Roman Catholic Chaplain and is currentlywriting a book about the founding of the Clergy Project, and her
experience of losing her faith.

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